UM Colors: "Sun" and Blue

Submitted by formerlyanonymous on July 18th, 2010 at 11:23 PM

Interesting note in a recent Daily article by volleyball players Lexi Zimmerman (swoons) and Courtney Fletcher. Apparently, Nike trademarked the "maize" color, so Adidas had to make up their own color called "sun":

Nike also copyrighted the color “Maize,” so Adidas actually had to make a new version of our school color, now known as “Sun” (which the volleyball team has affectionately dubbed the “highlighter” jerseys). While the switch has become progressively easier throughout the past two years, it’s come with growing pains.

So that should explain the color differences we've noticed. Because knowing is half the battle.



July 18th, 2010 at 11:27 PM ^

...we have all the evidence we need to confirm that Nike is the devil.  How the hell can "Maize" be copyrighted?  How is that term not in the public domain?  Seems like a case for the Michigan GC or at least the patent attorneys among the MGoBlogerati.


July 18th, 2010 at 11:33 PM ^

Not only do I not like the Nike image, but I think the Adidas stuff just looks a lot nicer. I stopped by the MDen the other day to see if there was any new stuff out and saw some awesome new sweaters for this season. A lot like what GERG wore last year, but in a really interesting fabric and design.

Can't wait to see the rest of the new stuff. I wonder which jersey numbers will be available this year. I'm hoping for 16


July 18th, 2010 at 11:38 PM ^

I know it's in the Daily article, but I seriously doubt anybody can copyright a color, nor a word of long standing denoting said color or a variety of corn.

You might as well copyright "Wolverine" or "Blue" or "Oxygen."

But I would like to copyright "Nikegoshoveitupyourass."


July 19th, 2010 at 12:23 AM ^

You can trademark a color, but it's difficult.  The University of Michigan has the color 'maize' trademarked for certain uses, presumably, which is why they were able to credibly go after Budweiser when they tried to sell maize & blue cans of Bud Light or whatever that was last year. Regardless, this story screams bullshit.  


July 18th, 2010 at 11:47 PM ^

"Nike also copyrighted the color 'Maize.'"

Argh. No, they didn't.

That being said, somebody needs to start making some old timey sweaters ASAP.  I've looked everywhere.  My girlfriend leaned over to ask some older gentleman at Casey's where he got his and he looked like he was going to spit on her for talking to him. Those.who.stay, is the MDen actually selling cotton or wool sweaters or did you mean sweatshirts? 


July 19th, 2010 at 12:21 AM ^

A volleyball thread with no pics?!?! You're all bitchin about some dumb copyright and haven't even posted a pic!!!


Spandex or GTFO. 

Mr. Robot

July 19th, 2010 at 2:07 AM ^

No way you can sue somebody over the use of a color. Maize is a common term, and any color is, well, a stinkin' color. Even if by some miracle Nike could win a suit against Adidas for using "Maize" they could just have easily use the exact same color and not officially refer to it as such.

Now I've said before that I like both colors and actually kind of prefer the newer shades because I think they stand out more and go better with our dark blue, but if Adidas brightened up our shade of yellow because Nike trademarked or copyrighted it, or whatever they think they can do with it, then they're stupid. If anybody would have that kind of control over our athletic colors, it'd be us and we'd be hearing about how Delaware uses off-shades because of it.


July 19th, 2010 at 8:15 AM ^

They didn't copyright the term "Maize" being used to describe yellow. That's not possible, and a judge would throw that out in a second.

What they did do is copyright the usage of the term Maize to describe X color value when used on athletic gear sold by competing corporations for the University of Michigan. Rather than just create a different shade of yellow and also call it Maize, which would be somewhat confusing and possibly could be contested in court, Adidas decided it would be simpler to create a new shade and and give it a new name, and trademark THAT. So now, Michigan can have their stuff, call it Maize and everything is fine, but Adidas can't list the color as "Maize" in commercial documents. IE: Why does one paint brand call it "lavender sunset" and the other calls it "dusty rose"? This is why.

That said, Nike still always brings the KY when they climb into bed with Satan.

Section 1

July 16th, 2013 at 7:11 AM ^

How many times have we been through this nonsense on this Board?  Actually, the Board has been almost as good at ferreting out the truth behind this much-ado-about-nothing story, as the internet has been in promoting it.

I emailed Lexi Zimmerman about her comments, several years ago.  (The Daily story isn't that "recent"!)  The gist was this; she is always surprised whenever she gets email on this topic.  She isn't a reporter.  She wasn't doing a story on the history of Michigan's copyright, trademark and Pantone color issues.  She was relating "something that they just told us."  She was doing a very casual account of life as a student-athlete.  She claims absolutely no expertise on this subject.

This story is nothing; it has no real importance.  Michigan was not forced into any dramatic (or even subtle) color changes as a result of Nike's trademarking.

Edit. - I just realized; this thread is almost exactly three years old.  July, 2010 to July, 2013.


July 19th, 2010 at 9:12 AM ^

"Maize", "yellow", "Sun", etc.....coupled with blue it's the best and most known color scheme in the world of college sports! Even my five year old son can point to anything with the yellow-blue scheme and proudly proclaim, "Look dad, Michigan! Hail to the Victors!" Makes me sniffle like a girl every time.

BTW, since Nike still supplies Sparty uni's, did they trademark "sinus infection green" or " mold spore green"? Just wonderin'.


July 19th, 2010 at 9:14 AM ^

My kids color with it all the time (making me 'M' pics and such).  I guess I will succumb to the all-powerful entity that is Nike and remove that color from the crayon collection in my home.  What's next??  Burnt Sienna??  


July 19th, 2010 at 9:26 AM ^

Nike "Maize" was yellow anyway. It sucked.

I like the old Champion "Maize" the best. Adidas seems to have moved a shade towards that color, so I am happy.

Still, the University legal department needs to get on Nike ASAP.